Verdict: The cast is willing, but the script is weak!
It is impossible to walk into this film without any expectations. A thriller about Amitabh Bachchan solving a kidnapping is bound to be exciting, right? Add to that Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who is a brilliant actor, as the Raman Raghav 2.0 trailer playing just before this film reminds you. The only thing that can push your expectations higher is Vidya Balan. The last time this great actress starred in a thriller set in Kolkata, she made cinematic history (of course, we mean Kahaani). Te3n struggles to make the most of these three phenomenal performers and succeeds only partially.
John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) and his wife have their lives disrupted by the kidnapping of their eight-year old grand-daughter, who seems to live with them after their daughter’s death. His wife is relegated to a wheelchair and John himself is unable to recover from this second loss. He spends his days trying to push the police to solve the case with daily visits, and when that fails, he tries to solve it on his own. Martin (Nawazuddin) is the cop who had failed to solve this case and become a clergyman, probably after. While Martin feels John’s loss, he is not moved to solve this case, content to accept it as the will of God. Until a second kidnapping takes place, eight years after the first, but with the same MO. Convinced it must be the same kidnapper, Sarita (Vidya Balan), the new cop in charge, decides to seek Martin’s help. Will the two be able to solve these cases at last? Or will John, working alone, get there first? You will have to watch Te3n to find out.
Te3n had all the makings of a fantastic film, but somehow falls short. The story, based on a Korean film Montage, is not free of loopholes, but told better, it could have made a great film. Especially if the characterization had been better. Other than John Biswas, all the other characters feel two-dimensional, extracting equally flat performances from actors capable of so much more. Nawazuddin alternates between looking complacent and worried, Vidya looks unaffected even in the most critical scenes. Only Big B’s character looks convincing, and he does complete justice to it. Despite this, you don’t feel for any of the characters or get pulled into the narrative, watching only to see how it will all end.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Amitabh Bachchan has once again given a sterling performance, and one that stands out sharply in an otherwise passable film.